minimalism characterized the nineties. it was surprising that in the beginning of the boom in the luxury goods industry it would be this sparse, undecorated aesthetic that would eventually define the decade. and considering today's economical climate when designers are either referencing eighties opulence or a protective and aggressive sensibility, raf simons proposed the idea that especially in these times, the understated, unpretentious confidence of the minimalist ideal is not only a valid option, but also the most sensible choice. but as practical and functional minimalism is, raf is also one of the most directional minds in fashion who has always pushed the limits with his eponymous menswear brand. so what do you do when you need to be respectful to the house's identity and at the same time stay true to your own convictions? raf's answer is simple, split the show in two. the first sequence was an homage to the house's founder herself. it was a parade of monochromatic and exquisitely tailored pieces paired with flats that added a jolt of colour to the otherwise neutral palette. proving that the perfect execution of pure design and craftsmanship has as much impact as the most decorated couture ball gown. as the lights dimmed and flashes of coloured strobe lights hit the runway the second act demonstrated simons' adept hands at handling the jil sander tradition, and injecting it with his own personality. inspired by the seductive and arabesque lines of ceramicist pol chambost, simons twisted, draped and folded fabric around the body giving the clothes a sinuous, languid sexiness where underneath the fold or inside a neckline are shots of colour that referenced chambost' pottery. while the house of jil sander is not one that is traditionally associated with high concepts, raf's unyielding vision and sensitivity with the house's history gives the label a new sense of contemporary validity that will undoubtedly continue to exalt its influence in the years to come.